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SPRING 2020 FIELD TRIP DATES FILLED – BOOK NOW FOR FALL 2020! 

 

Field Trips

 

The Nature Institute (TNI) offers field trip programs to groups of students in preschool through twelfth grade. Field trip programs are offered in two hour blocks, Tuesday-Friday throughout the school year. Field Trip Policy 2020 pdf

Program Length: Two Hours

  • Educational programs are facilitated by our staff and volunteer field trip leaders and are two hours in length
  • We provide one field trip leader per group of 15 students
  • You are invited to use our picnic tables and play area for self-guided lunch and free play time, before or after the program

Program Size: 15-60 students

  • Please break your students into groups of no more than 15
  • Contact us if you would like to arrange a trip for fewer than 15 or more than 60 students

Program Cost: $6/student

  • Minimum of $90 per program
  • Schools may choose to add a second program block in the afternoon at a discounted rate of $3 per student

Chaperones

All teachers and school staff are free. One volunteer chaperone per ten students is also free. Additional adults will be charged at the student rate.

Deposit/Cancellation Policy

Effective Spring 2020, TNI will require a deposit for all field trips in order to secure a date on our calendar. The deposit may be made through our online registration system or a check, but it must be received no later than 30 days before the program date. You will receive final confirmation from our staff once your program is on the calendar.

The deposit is $90, which is equivalent to the minimum program fee and will be credited towards the cost of the program. This deposit is only refundable in the case of TNI needing to cancel the program due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a hazardous weather event. If a school cancels their field trip within two weeks of their scheduled date, they lose their deposit and a new deposit will be required to reschedule the program. If a school cancels their field trip with at least two weeks notice, the original deposit can be applied towards the rescheduled date.

Transportation

You are responsible for transportation. TNI may be able to help you secure transportation funding. Please contact us for more information.

SCHEDULE YOUR FIELD TRIP BELOW USING OUR INTERACTIVE DATE CALENDAR!
  • Pre-School and Kindergarten- Field trips for young children should be full of exploration and sensory learning. Students can go on a guided color hike, smell and feel native plants, and look and record signs of wildlife on TNI trails.
  • 1st through 3rd grade- As children age, they graduate from exploring to understanding. Students can explore with their senses on a hike, identify natural flora and fauna, and compare woodland, prairie, and wetland species and habitats.
  • 4th through 6th grade- Trips in this age range will add more advanced STEM knowledge. Students will build on habitat knowledge and learn information on geology and ecology. With the proper background knowledge, students are fostered to be environmental stewards. Discussions about conservation and adding stewardship projects may be appropriate for older students.
  • Middle and High School- These students are ready to be challenged and take action where they can. Learning with this age group can focus on social issues related to conservation and stewardship. What are those big questions and how can we solve them as a community?

Program

Season

Grade Level

Fall on the Preserves

Fall

Pre-K through 5th

Winter on the Preserves

Winter

Pre-K through 5th

Spring on the Preserves

Spring

Pre-K through 5th

Recycling and Composting

Any

1st through 3rd

Geology

Any

1st through 3rd

Survival Skills

Any

4th through 6th

Map and Compass

Any

1st through 3rd

Forest Ecology

Fall or Spring

Middle School and High School

Stream Sampling

Fall or Spring

Middle School and High School

Citizen Science

Fall or Spring

Middle School and High School

 

Certified Outdoor Classroom

The Nature Institute (TNI) features a natural, playground-style, outdoor classroom conveniently located in front of Talahi Lodge. This easily accessible outdoor classroom is wonderful for field trip and home school groups and our visitors. This classroom, named “Discovery Woods,” was installed in 2015 with a natural play area featuring Decomposer Grove, Fossil Dig, Burrow, and Geology Garden in memory of Judy Hoffman and others.

Many of these features were made with recycled construction materials and non-native Osage orange trees found on our preserve. These additions were created to showcase team building, discovery, and imaginative play all with natural, sustainable products.

In 2017, Nature Explore, a collaboration between Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, officially authenticated the “Discovery Woods” as a certified “Nature Explore Classroom.” 

Additional plans for expansion are in the works and hope to include a music board, pollinator garden, and other sensory areas. 

Need funding assistance? Check out available Illinois Biodiversity Grants through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Field Trip Availability

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Green Dates = Available Dates

Field Trip Scheduling

  • Approximate # of students
  • Start with your first choice and end with your third choice
    Deposit will be credited towards cost of program
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